How Much Does Sauna Cost in New Zealand? Buying a Sauna in 2024

how much does a sauna cost in new zealand

Are you considering adding a sauna to your home in New Zealand but wondering about the costs involved? Let’s explore this together and find the perfect sauna that fits your budget and preferences.

If you’re looking for an all-in-one shop for saunas, spas and accessories, Shym Saunas is one of the best sauna suppliers in New Zealand and Australia.

Sauna Cost Review from Top New Zealand Sauna Suppliers 2024

Sauna prices in New Zealand vary widely, influenced by the type, size, materials, and features of each model. Here’s a simplified overview of the price ranges:

  • Entry-Level Saunas: Prices start from around $3,000 NZD for basic models, suitable for those seeking a no-frills sauna experience. Alpine Spas Oslo Infrared Sauna falls into this category as a 2-person sauna.
  • Mid-Range Saunas: These are typically priced between $7,000 and $10,000 NZD. Shym Saunas Cedar Barrel falls into this category, offering robust Canadian Western Red Cedar construction and optional heating types. These models often provide enhanced features like digital controls or aesthetic enhancements.
  • Premium Models: For those looking for luxury and extensive features, prices start at $15,000 NZD. Shym Saunas’ Patio Series exemplifies in this range, crafted from thermotreated Nordic Spruce and designed for both aesthetic appeal and durability.

Now that you have an idea of costs, let’s dive deeper into what influences these costs.

What Influences the Cost of a Sauna?

When it comes to purchasing a sauna, several factors can affect the price. These are:

  • Type of Sauna: The cost can differ significantly between infrared saunas and traditional steam saunas.
  • Size of the Sauna: Larger saunas typically cost more due to increased material and construction requirements.
  • Materials Used: The type of wood and other materials used in sauna construction can impact the overall price.
  • Location: Whether the sauna is installed indoors or outdoors can affect the cost, particularly in terms of preparation and installation.
  • Installation and Shipping Costs: These expenses can vary based on the complexity of the setup and the distance the sauna materials need to be transported.
  • Maintenance Expenses: Ongoing maintenance costs to keep the sauna in good working order.
  • Operating Costs: The energy consumption required to run the sauna, which can vary by sauna type and frequency of use.

Let’s dive deeper into each factor.

1. Types of Saunas Available

Deciding on the type of sauna that suits your needs is the first step. 

In New Zealand, you can choose between traditional steam saunas and infrared saunas

  • Traditional wood saunas are heated with hot stones. 
  • Infrared saunas use radiant heat to warm your body directly. 

To provide a clearer picture, here’s a cost comparison using current market data from several prominent sauna providers in New Zealand:

How much is a traditional Finnish/Nordic barrel sauna?

When considering traditional steam saunas, two notable options are the Cedar Barrel Sauna from Shym Saunas and the Vista Mini Sauna from Alpine Spas. 

Here’s a focused comparison to help you understand the distinctions and value each brand offers:

Shym Saunas (Cedar Barrel Sauna) – $9,890.41 NZD
  • Size: 180 cm x 200 cm diameter
  • Capacity: up to 6-person
  • Features: The barrel design is not only aesthetically pleasing but also efficient in heat distribution, allowing for a more even and effective sauna experience. Its construction from Canadian Western Red Cedar enhances durability and adds a natural aroma that enhances the sauna experience.
Alpine Spas (Vista Mini Sauna) – $10,995 NZD
Photo Credit: Alpine Spas
  • Size: 190 cm (W) x 204 cm (H) x 169 cm (D)
  • Capacity: 4 seater
  • Features: The Vista Mini Sauna by Alpine Spas is slightly more compact in its seating capacity, designed specifically for 4 users. It stands out for its modern design and is priced a bit higher than Shym Saunas’ model. The use of rustic cedar wood and inclusion of modern amenities like LED lighting and digital controls cater to those seeking a contemporary sauna experience with traditional warmth and steam.

How much is an infrared sauna?

  • Kiva Wellness: Offers saunas priced from $3,995 for a one-person unit up to $7,495 for a six-person sauna. This indicates a broader range of sauna sizes and features, accommodating larger groups and providing more luxurious options.
  • Vitality 4 Life NZ: Their saunas start at $3,295 for a two-person model and go up to $5,695 for a six-person sauna. The pricing reflects a focus on providing value in the mid-range market, balancing cost with capacity.

Each type offers a distinct experience and, so consider what kind of sauna experience you are looking for. 

If the classic high heat and steam environment appeals to you, a traditional sauna might be your best pick. On the other hand, if you prefer a gentler heat and a focus on health and wellbeing, an infrared sauna could be ideal.

2. Size of Sauna

How big should your sauna be? Do you need a cozy space for two, or are you planning to host a group? Sizes vary, and naturally, larger saunas cost more.

Larger saunas require more wood, more heating elements, additional insulation, and, often, more complex electrical configurations. Here’s how this plays out in practical terms:

Dimensions and Costs for Different Sauna Sizes

2-Person Sauna:

For a Compact Layout:

Ideal for those seeking a close, intimate sauna experience. Due to its smaller size, it consumes less energy and materials, which can significantly lower the initial and operational costs.

Dimensions:

  • Width: 127 cm
  • Depth: 112 cm
  • Height: 193 cm

Luxurious Layout:

Provides more space and comfort for two users. The increased dimensions result in slightly higher costs due to the extra materials and energy required.

  • Width: 132 cm
  • Depth: 121 cm
  • Height: 196 cm

4-Person Sauna:

A 4-person sauna needs to accommodate more people and a larger heat source (especially in traditional saunas), leading to higher costs. The need for more bench space and a larger heating system to cover the increased area adds to both the installation and operational expenses.

Dimensions:

  • Width: 220 cm
  • Depth: 160 cm
  • Height: 195 cm

How much does a sauna cost based on size?

A standard two-person sauna typically costs between $3,000 and $9,000, whereas a more spacious and opulent model can exceed $12,000.

3. Materials and Construction

When selecting wood for a sauna, the choice of material has significant implications on cost, durability, scent, and the overall sauna experience. Here’s a detailed comparison of popular wood types used in sauna construction:

  • For longevity and a classic style and a sauna aroma: Western Red Cedar is the top choice.
  • For a balance of cost and durability without strong scents: Hemlock offers an excellent alternative.
  • For a rustic look with cost savings: Rustic Cedar provides a visually appealing option at a lower cost than premium cedar.
  • For a traditional experience at a lower cost: Spruce is ideal, especially for indoor settings.
  • For the most budget-friendly option: Pine, while requiring more care, offers the lowest initial investment.

Want to know more about Sauna Wood Types? Check out our article Types of Sauna Wood.

Examples from Specific Models

  • Shym Saunas (Cedar Barrel Sauna):
    • Material: Uses Canadian Western Red Cedar, known for its durability and aroma.
    • Impact on Cost: The choice of cedar increases the price but also adds to the sauna’s longevity and enhances the user experience with its natural scent and moisture resistance.
  • Alpine Spas (Vista Mini Sauna):
    • Material: Constructed with Rustic Cedar Wood, offering a balance between cost and performance.
    • Impact on Cost: Offers a slightly less expensive option compared to premium cedar but still maintains a high level of quality and durability.

Remember, the quality of timber not only affects the durability and appearance of your sauna but also its price tag.

4. Location

When planning to install a sauna, the location you choose—whether indoors or outdoors—plays a significant role in influencing.

Indoor Sauna Cost Implications

Installing a sauna indoors generally requires less structural preparation compared to an outdoor installation. Most homes have existing walls and a roof to shelter the sauna, which reduces the need for additional construction.

Factors to consider: 

While the structural costs may be lower, indoor saunas often require modifications to existing spaces. This might include:

  1. Upgrading electrical wiring to support the sauna’s heater
  2. Improving ventilation
  3. Ensuring that the flooring can withstand high humidity and heat. 

These modifications can increase the overall cost.

Outdoor Sauna Cost Implications

Outdoor saunas require more extensive preparation, including building a foundation, constructing weather-resistant external walls, and possibly adding insulation. These requirements are necessary to protect the sauna from weather elements such as rain, snow, and extreme temperatures.

Factors to consider
  • Additional structures like protective roofing, and insulated walls can increase the upfront costs. 
  • However, an outdoor sauna can be a striking addition to your garden or backyard, enhancing the overall property value.

Luckily, for those undecided between an indoor or outdoor sauna, the Spruce/Cedar Barrel Sauna UNITY (3 – 5 Person) from Shym Saunas offers the best of both worlds. Priced at around $10,400, this model is designed to be suitable for both settings, providing flexibility without the need for extensive modifications. The inclusion of bitumen shingle roofing in the package at no extra cost enhances its value.

5. Installation and Shipping Costs

Installation Costs

The installation process for a sauna involves various steps, including assembling the structure, connecting electrical components, and ensuring proper ventilation. 

Here’s what to expect: A sauna installer is typically your best bet for installing prefab sauna kits or custom-built saunas. They typically costs:

  • Lower-priced Installation: Some companies may offer installation services starting at around $1000 to $2500. This could be a basic service that includes standard setup without extensive customization or complex modifications.
  • Custom sauna installation costs even more.
  • Higher-priced Installation: On the other end of the spectrum, installation can cost up to $10,000 or more, especially if the sauna installation is part of a larger renovation project or requires significant modifications to the existing space. This might include integrating advanced features such as custom lighting, additional insulation, or specialized heating systems.
  • Some saunas require electrical installation. You can hire an electrician or let your sauna provider recommend an electrician for you.

Shipping Costs

Shipping costs for saunas can also vary significantly based on the weight, size of the sauna, and the distance it needs to travel. Additionally, the type of delivery service (e.g., curbside delivery versus full-service installation) can affect the cost:

  • Local vs. Long-Distance Shipping: Local deliveries may incur lower shipping costs, while transporting a sauna across long distances or internationally can substantially increase the expenses due to logistical complexities and higher fuel charges.
  • Delivery Type: Standard shipping might be more affordable but typically requires the buyer to handle unloading and assembly. In contrast, white-glove delivery services, where the company manages everything from transportation to installation, will be more costly but provide a hassle-free experience.

Sauna Comparison Table

Brand/ModelPrice (NZD)Size (cm)CapacityMaterialSpecial Features
Shym Saunas Cedar Barrel$9,890.41180 x 200 diameter4 PersonCanadian Western Red CedarHigh durability, interior lighting, customizable heater
Cedar Spring Creation
$10,999.00183 x 183 diameter4 PersonCanadian Western Red CedarFull glass door, stainless steel fasteners
Nordic Concepts Classic
$13,500.00200 long x 220 wideNot specifiedSpruceTraditional sauna with hot rocks, user-friendly controls
Alpine Spas Vista Mini
$10,995190 x 204 x 1694 PersonRustic Cedar WoodThermometer, sand timer, LED lighting
Garden House 24 Leo

$10,258.20160 x 200 diameter2 PersonHeat-treated spruceCrescent-shaped glass, lightweight design
Note: Number of Person/ Capacity are suggestions only, assuming that 500 mm per person is allotted for seating space, and 500 mm space is cleared for sauna heater

Comparing Sauna Prices vs Quality

  • Shym Saunas utilizes Canadian Western Red Cedar, notable one of the best wood types for saunas, with a distinctive aroma and durability in place, enhancing the traditional sauna experience. This choice offers better insulation and longevity compared to Cedar Spring Creation, which uses Eastern White Cedar and Alpine Spas using Rustic Cedar wood.
  • In this case, Cedar Spring Creation and Safari Tents use Spruce, which may not offer the same versatility as the cedar saunas.
  • Nordic Concepts and Alpine Spas highlight the inclusion of heaters in the purchase, but at a higher price point, which might limit their appeal to budget-conscious customers.
  • Leisure Spas offers larger sizes and capacities, suitable for those needing more spacious sauna experiences but at a higher cost.

Additional Costs to Consider

Beyond the purchase price, there are other expenses you should keep in mind:

1. Running Costs and Efficiency

Infrared saunas generally have lower running costs than traditional steam saunas. It’s important to consider how often you’ll use your sauna and the energy efficiency of the model you choose.

Types of Sauna Heaters Used

  1. Electric Heaters: These are the most common type of sauna heaters due to their convenience and ease of use. They range in price from $600 to $2,000, varying based on size and features. Electric heaters are suitable for all types of saunas and are favored for their consistent heat output and low maintenance.
  2. Wood-Burning Stoves: Offering a traditional sauna experience, wood-burning stoves cost between $1,700 and $6,000. They require a proper ventilation system and are ideal for outdoor saunas or those installed in larger spaces. The initial cost is higher due to the need for additional components like the flue kit, but they provide a unique, authentic experience with the added charm of a crackling fire.
  3. Infrared Heaters: These heaters are known for their energy efficiency and range in price from $1,500 to $4,000

Some companies offer the heater as part of the sauna kit package but others give you the option to choose between the types of heaters depending on your lifestyle, taste, etc.

2. Maintenance and Longevity

Regular maintenance ensures your sauna stays in prime condition. Consider the cost of replacement parts and occasional servicing, which can impact the total cost of ownership.

Key Factors Affecting Sauna Maintenance and Longevity

  • Wood Care: Wood types like cedar, hemlock, and spruce commonly used in saunas require periodic treatment to protect against moisture and decay. Regular sanding and application of natural wood oils can help maintain their integrity and appearance.
  • Rust Prevention: For saunas with metal components, particularly in humid environments or outdoor settings, it’s crucial to check for rust or corrosion. Using rust-resistant materials or coatings can minimize this risk.
  • Ventilation System: Proper ventilation is essential to prevent the build-up of moisture and ensure a healthy air quality within the sauna. Regular checks and cleaning of vents can prevent mold growth and wood rot, contributing to both the sauna’s longevity and the health of its users.
  • Usage and Wear: Frequent use can lead to faster wear and tear. Components like door handles, hinges, and seating may require periodic inspection and replacement to keep the sauna safe and functional.
  • Environmental Factors:
    • For outdoor saunas, weather conditions can significantly impact longevity.
    • Indoor saunas, while generally less susceptible to environmental degradation, still require attention to ambient humidity levels and potential water damage.

Choosing the Right Sauna for Your Home

To find the best sauna for your needs, assess the space you have available and consider how you want to use the sauna. 

Are you looking for a place to relax after a long day, or is it more about socializing with friends? 

Also, check the sauna’s safety features and ensure it complies with New Zealand standards. 

Lastly, don’t forget about the warranty—this can provide peace of mind with your significant investment.

Wrapping Up

Investing in a sauna in New Zealand is not just about purchasing a product; it’s about enhancing your lifestyle and health. By understanding the types of saunas available, their costs, and installation requirements, you can make a decision that fits both your budget and your wellness goals. Remember, the best sauna is one that you will use frequently, fits well in your space and brings you the relaxation and health benefits you desire.

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